‘Aussie Maddie’ police admit they’re looking for body as girl, 4, feared dead

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Police admit they are now searching for the body of 'kidnapped' Cleo Smith in a case likened to Madeleine McCann's.

The four-year-old was reported missing from her family's tent in Western Australia on Saturday morning, prompting a huge scale hunt.

An investigation into her disappearance is now looking at the worst-case scenario, following a likely police theory that Cleo "was taken" as her parents slept.

On Thursday, deputy police commissioner Col Blanch conceded that officers are searching for the young girl's remains.

Had Cleo wandered off on her own accord, police say she would have already been found by now, The Sun reports.

Col Blanch said: "Cleo disappeared from her family's tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body.

"That leads us to believe she was taken."

What the deputy refused to comment on however was the likelihood of Cleo being "buried in the area".

Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde said police "hold great fears for her safety".

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West Australian Premier Mark McGowan said the authorities are working "around the clock" and announced a $1m reward to her find her.

The "extensive land, sea and air search" team is made up of more than 100 police officers, soldiers, volunteers and Aboriginal bush trackers.

Cleo was last seen by her parents at 1.30am on Saturday morning when mum Ellie Smith spoke to her but when she woke up again at 6am, Cleo had vanished.

Ellie posted a plea for help on social media after a day without her daughter.

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Ms Smith wrote: "It’s been over 24 hours since I last seen the sparkle in my little girl’s eyes! Please help me find her."

The toddler was wearing pink pyjamas and sleeping in a black and red sleeping bag, which was also nowhere to be found when Ellie woke up

Lead Inspector John Munday said he had "grave fears" for the poor little girl's wellbeing, but would continue the massive search till Cleo is reunited with her parents.

Munday told reporters on Monday: "Every hour that goes by with a four-year-old out in this environment, there’s obviously limited water supply, it is warm, very limited shelter. It is very, very concerning.

"That’s why we do hold grave fears for Cleo at this time.

"We are continuing to throw everything we have at this and we will continue until we can provide some answers as to what has happened to Cleo."

  • Missing Person
  • Madeleine Mccann
  • Police

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